Himsl discovered the vehicle in 1968 when he and his friend Ed Green saw the aft end of it sticking out of a barn in California’s Napa Valley. Himsl and Green used the vehicle for a few years as sort of an office, but did not begin a serious restoration until 1999.
The first order of business was to refurbish and modernize the drive components. Air-lift bags were added to all four corners, a 350 Chevy engine replaced the old flathead engine and most of the old running gear was replaced. The original skin on the vehicle was a mixture of steel panels and stretched fabric. Himsl ripped off all the old skin and replaced it with a modern material, Stitz Poly-fiber. Fenders were replaced and added (the original vehicle did not have front fenders), the nose was reconstructed and Himsl applied a spectacular finish in an Art Deco theme. The vehicle was rechristened in 2002 as the 1937 Himsl Zeppelin Roadliner. It was photographed in Concord, California.
The interior and exterior of the Zeppelin will be in my new book, Mobile Mansions, that will be published by Gibbs Smith Publisher in the fall of 2006.
If you have a unique motorhome, e-mail a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Doug is also the author of Ready to Roll: A Celebration of the Classic American Travel Trailer and Silver Palaces: America’s Streamline Trailers. Personalized autographed copies are available from Doug. E-mail him at the above addressResearch Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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